Tragedy in one's life ought to be taken into consideration when sentencing criminals
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Decision can be define as, "a: the process of deciding. b: a determination arrived at after consideration."
I understand the aforementioned case isn't the norm for all cases, and there will be other cases as seen many times today where those who have sufferd tragedy in the form of various mental illnesses don't get special treatment and are still punished for their violent crimes.
I am not saying that all of those who have suffered some tragedy should get away with their crimes. Crimes deserved to be punished. But in the case of the soldier or those who are extremely dangerous like pyschopaths or sociopaths, we must consider tragedy and look at other options rather than prison. To ensure society's safety we must use tragedy as a factor in punishment.
Now about mental illness, there is something called legal insanity. This is when a defendant pleads "not guilty" by reason of insanity, they assert what they call an "affirmative defense", which is when they admit to committing a criminal act, but they are looking to be excused of their behavior because of mental illness. If they are adjudged to being insane during the time they committed the crime they are neither legally or morally guilty. For this to happen they have to be analyzed and examined by an expert in mental illness or insanity in order to determine whether he was in a mentally unstable condition during the time he/she committed the crime. So there is no need to debate for the mentally ill, because they already have the option to plead not-guilty because of their mental state.
For psychopaths and sociopaths, a lot of them are in mental institutes, although a lot of them are also in prisons. The thing is, psychopaths and sociopaths do have the ability to choose if they commit a crime or if they don't. Although they is a large misuse of the word psychopath along the medical community for years, a psychopath is recognised as a category of the antisocial personality disorder. They are characterised by lack of empathy or feelings for other, selfishness, lack of guilt, superficial charm and manipulation. These people do have a mental illness or a set of behaviors that sets them apart, but there is no mention of them not having the ability to make a rational decision, they do, they just prefer not to make them because it does not benefit them. For example, not all psychopaths commit crimes, some just are politicians or people in places of great power and authority in which they can hurt people without committing a crime. The difference between these non-criminal psychopaths and criminal psychopaths is that one chooses to satisfy his needs without violating the law and the other one choose to break the law. So in reality psychopaths have the ability to choose whether they commit a crime or they don't, and most should not have a lesser sentence than deserved.
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